August 27, 2009

Gear Thursday: Chariot Sidecarrier

I love the idea of taking a baby/kid with you on a bike ride but I'm not sure when you can take your baby in one of those carriers so this can be filed under way too soon. I'm not really a fan of the bike solutions out there. I do like those trailers that make your bike into a Jury rigged tandem bike, but those are for older kids. And I hate those regular carrier things that look like strollers that you pull...they just seem dangerous. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't almost run one over earlier this summer while pulling out of a parking lot. I couldn't see the freaking thing.

Then one day I was reading a magazine, probably Outside...although I was probably inside when I was reading it. Anyway I saw this SideCarrier from Chariot. Yeah it looks like the trailers I just said I hate, but it's a side car. And how awesome is a side car? I'd actually love this one for my scooter but I have a feeling there is some legality/safety issues with putting a baby seat in one. So I'm really geeking out about this. The traditional Chariot trailers have conversion kits so they can transform into running strollers, cross-country ski trailers and more. This one does not but the chances of me running with a stroller is pretty much zero and I don't know how to XC ski so I don't need that option. This is going on the list and once I figure out when you can put a baby in one of these I'll pick one up and report back. Oh and that will probably be some time next summer as the kid isn't coming out any time soon. and that makes this a cliffhanger which will make you want to come back to see how everything unfolds. One little note in case you look into getting one of these. You need to check bike compatibility, I'm hoping mine works.

There's one other bike solution I've seen recently. It's a Madsen cycle. Really cool designed bikes, and a website to match...with some nice photos on the homepage. These bikes come in 2 styles; a rack and a bucket. The bucket version has a removable seat and 2 seat belts. Pretty cool, although it could look like you're trucking your kid/kids around in a trashcan. But whatever, I like the design of the bike because of the length and the blue and cream color opyions look nice. Don't think I'll buy one because the next $1300 I sink into a bike will be a cyclocross bike, however I wouldn't mind a free one. You can try to grab one for yourself through the contest they're running now. Check out this MADSEN Cargo Bikes link but if you win you need to let me take the bike for a spin.

August 25, 2009


In about 5 months Staci and I are going to have some sort of kid hanging around. And then a few months later we'll need a place for that kid to hang while we're at work.

Society, the law and Staci frown on leaving a baby home alone with a dog all day, even if our dog Kalli is super sweet and would take good care of it, so that idea was out. We whittled out nannies, day care centers and decided on an in-home place.

So a month ago we started calling people. And apparently we were months behind on the process of finding someone.

Problem is that most places have a waiting list of 1 to 2 years. Now this might be over-sharing, but Staci and I are both humans. That being said we have a gestation period of 9 months. And, to my knowledge, most of the folks in our neighborhood are human. So I didn't get this 2 year waiting list thing...yeah if the places were full that would be one thing. But they were either not full or they had a few kids going in to regular school.

They were holding spots for people that didn't even have pre-kids going on. People who had another kid enrolled and are just thinking that they'll have a baby in a couple years.
But shit can happen when you're trying to have a can take a long time..I was a bit perplexed by their business models.

So after Staci called about 30 places, most with waiting lists, we weeded out the total wackos, found someone we trust and put a deposit down.

But the moral of the story is if you're thinking about having a kid in the next couple years call some places up and put your name on a list.

August 21, 2009

More about the name: A teaser

When we started thinking about having kids Staci and I had all the discussions about names.

I was thinking that if we have a boy we'd name it after one of the greatest actors of our time, French Stewart. The reason I like French as a first name is that telemarketers and the like mispronounce Friedman and say it like it's spelled Fried-man instead of the real pronunciation Freed-man. Crazy Hungarians are to blame for the odd spelling but I think it's common knowledge that that's how you pronounce it. So the kid would be called French Fried-man...but some folks thought that would be cruel...and Monkey was rejected as a girls name.

But Staci had the idea to use her grandmother (Minnie) and great aunt's (Hilda...although she went by Auntie...pictured above) initials as the first and last letter in a name. That's because whether it was to slip some cash in each pocket or to give her a little tap when she was saying things she shouldn't they were always at her side.

So we got M as the first letter and H as the last. I suggested going old school with a nod to the Muppets in naming the kid Menomenah. That, like my other suggestions, was rejected.

We nailed some names down for a boy or girl...I'm just not sure if Staci's cool with me divulging it yet. So...more to come.

August 20, 2009

Gear Thursday: the first one

I love could be photo gear, snowboard gear or maybe just something that has great design like a kick ass walnut opener. And in looking at stuff for the baby I'm kind of geeking out about some of the baby gear.

So I thought I'd try to showcase some kid/baby gear that I'm might not be for whatever age my kid is (especially since it's in pre-kid mode) but it should be cool stuff.

First up is the
Bilibo. A few years ago Staci and I saw this at a cool kid store in Stillwater called Red Rover...they no longer carry it but did help me remember what it was called.

Designed by the Swiss, of course, it is a super versatile toy/piece of furniture. It has won a bunch of design and toy awards...check
their site to get all the info. It can be used as a seat, a basket, or even a tunnel for toy trains and cars. The woman from Red Rover told me she even used it as a step stool a couple days ago.

And if you find yourself without a halloween costume you can wear it as a hat and go as Dumb Donald. I haven't officially tried it out yet but feel free to use the idea...just give me some attribution...thanks.

Oh and I realize it's plastic and that doesn't go with the montessori philosophy...but I think when things have kick ass design you can break the rules. We will definitely be buying a couple of these.

August 17, 2009

first shoot showing the bump

Yesterday night Staci and I did a quick portrait shoot. She looked beautiful in all the shots, but I think she looks awesome here.

August 14, 2009

$50 a day

Last week there were a bunch of news articles, or actually one reused many times, on the cost of raising a baby that is born today. With inflation figured in the total through 17 years comes to just under $292,000 for middle income and $367,000 for higher income. So with some fuzzy math that works to between $45 and $59 per day. And since we're figuring inflation in that might just be the cost of some foo-foo drink at Starbucks in the year 2028.

August 10, 2009

Frequently Asked Qs

Even though this has been up for a bit under a month some folks have emailed me their questions. And since I was out of town last weekend, I haven't had time to get a post together, so I thought I'd start an FAQ. I'll add to this as more Qs come up.

Home come your so nonchalant about having a baby? It's a wonderful thing and you don't seem excited. Was it a mistake?
Well you probably didn't read my first post. I am incredibly excited and the kid was totally planned. I just have a different perspective on things and I'm a bit sarcastic, I wish there was a font to express sarcasm but until then you'll have to deal. Plus kids kind of freak me out so there is a bit of that going on...which leads me to my second question:

You say kids freak you out. What's the deal with that?
Wait a did read my first post (same person asked both questions.) I am kind of freaked out by kids. I am the youngest in my family and there were no young cousins, nieces or nephews around when I was growing up. But as friends and family had children I started getting to be around kids. I have started liking the ones I know. I'm not going to lie and say I like all kids, but some are growing on me and I definitely want one.

Are you reading anything to prepare for the baby?
Yes. The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-to-Be, Second Edition – I looked at a few books in the dad-to-be genre and this one stuck out. I think it's a good quick read for a first time dad, and maybe second or third time too. Each chapter is about a month of pregnancy. They begin with what's going on with your partner, physically and emotionally, what's going on with the pre-kid and what's going on with you. I also check out babycenter.

I'm sure I'll read more as things get closer I'll read more. Right now Staci is reading a bunch and she fills me in on the important bits. Here's some favorites on her end table: What You Didn't Think to Ask Your Obstetrician: Answers to 1000 Questions About Your Pregnancy,
Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three
and Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

Why don't you plan on using a crib? Is your baby going to sleep on the floor? What if your dog or cats sit on the baby? I actually plan on doing a post on this but the short answer is, no the baby will not be sleeping on the floor. We're doing a floor bed which is basically a mattress on the floor. Some have wood frames around them. It gives the child independence on getting out of bed when it's up and it doesn't feel like a jail. That is over simplifying it but check back soon for more info. As for the pets, they are all great around babies plus we'll have baby gates up and close the door to the bedroom so no need to worry.

What do you have against Dora, Disney and Sesame St.? Actually I love Sesame St. And our kid will probably watch it as well as a few select shows. But I don't want our kid to buy into the marketing machine that is most licensed characters. Plus as far as TV and toys go kids actually prefer activities that are more interactive and creative. That's a great thing we learned when Staci became a Montessori teacher. With the right activities at home a child will pick the creative one over a doll or TV (again that is a huge over simplification but I'll write more about Montessori and kids soon.)

I hear about Montessori a lot but don't know what it is exactly. Well that's not really a question but I'll give you a pass. If I had to give it the elevator ride description I would say it's a method of allowing children to choose a path of self-directed hands on learning vs. just being taught to. Since I'm not an expert I'd suggest checking out the Wikipedia article or to check out Association Montessori Internationale or take a look at one of these two books by Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind Secret of Childhood. The most important thing I've learned about Montessori is that the name is not copyrighted. That means I could open a school, call it Kenny's Montessori and sit kids in front of the TV all day. So if you are thinking of sending your kid to a school you should look into their accreditation. Look for AMI or AMS. Otherwise they may just be a normal preschool.

Why are you going to raise your kid a vegetarian? It's not healthy and it's cruel. Well there are a ton of cultures in the world that are vegetarian. They have been around for 1000s of years and are still going strong so I would say it is healthy. As for raising a kid veggie being cruel, well some would say the opposite is true.

I have some advice can I give it to you? Wow, you're seriously the first person to ask if we wanted advice. Yes, I/we will take any advice. We might not follow it but we'll listen. Just click on the contact link or leave a comment on a post.

I tried to leave a comment but it didn't work. I fixed that, however if the post is over 3 days old I have it moderated so it won't go up until I check it out. I'm not doing that to censor. I'm doing it so I don't miss a comment.

I'm sure I'll have more Qs to come, and tanks for stopping by.

August 4, 2009

Art in the kid's room

We haven't even started setting up the kid's room because it's so early, but we're already thinking of how to decorate....and this is where Staci and I have a little bit of a difference in opinion.

I'm a fan of poster art and so I'm trying to include it in what will go up in the room...however sometimes it's not appropriate color or subject wise.

Well I just found this poster by Dan McCarthy and I love the message plus it works for a kid, albeit an older kid. But the colors are dark. I'm still going to try and slide this one past Staci without her noticing.

Funny thing is my kid will hate Sonic Youth because they'll be an old person band.

August 3, 2009

girl vs. boy

When Staci and I were talking about trying to get pregnant we knew that it could take a long time. However we both treated that information differently. Staci being a teacher wanted to have the baby at a time that would coincide with summer break so that was an important factor in when to start. She was betting on it taking a while so she thought she should start early. I was really aware of the fact it could take one time and thought we should figure that into our timing.

All those who know Staci know that she is a planner. So we set a month to start. Then she freaked out a bit thinking it would take even longer than she planned (we both realize you can't plan it) so she wanted to start even earlier. Staci won out, but I was right. We realize we're very lucky that it worked out well.

So why am I giving you all this info? Well according to a study, since it didn't take long to conceive, it means that we'll have a girl. So there is a bit of science on baby gender...we'll see if it holds.

But when it comes to predicting gender most people kick science to the curb. So many people are guessing what we'll have based on the way she's carrying, or her sleep patterns or the "laying of hands" on her belly.

So I decided to try out some of the popular myths to out what we're having. (If the folks from Mythbusters find this, yes I will join the team)

Here we go.
Short time to conceive = girl
The pre-kid's heartbeat was clocked at over 140= girl
According to the Chinese gender chart = boy
Staci sleeps on her right side = girl
She feels nausea = girl
She's not craving citrus = boy
I am not gaining weight = boy
She's breaking out a bit = girl
She's feeling clumsy = girl
No weight gain in her face = boy
She's craving salty stuff = boy
She is of course never moody = boy
She's carrying high = girl
When holding her wedding ring on a string over her belly it went in circles = boy (although I've seen girl for the same)

14 tests split 7 and 7.

In six weeks we'll be going for our ultrasound that can tell us what we're having...I know they aren't always right.

Since I'm a man of science and since both of the more scientific tests (length it took to conceive and heart rate) point to girl, if I had to make a guess we'll have a girl I need to predict how to figure out if it will ride goofy foot or regular.

Took awhile... Here's an infographic of MF's first year

I finished this about a year ago just for my personal use but thought I'd share it. It's a visualization of MF's first year in n...